Famous Fathers of Pop Culture


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In honor of Father's Day, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the most well known, and not so well known, patriarchs of pop culture. The relationship between some of these fathers and their children is often the stuff of amazing stories. I'll do my best not to ruin anything for anyone who hasn't already read or seen their stories.

So, let's celebrate the fathers that helped raise some of our favorite characters!


If you read Robert Kirkman's Invincible (and shame on you if you don't) then you'll be no stranger to the fact that Invincible's father, Omni-Man, is one of the strongest heroes Image has ever seen. The relationship between Invincible and his father seemed to be very good, but a huge event changes their lives forever. Because it's one of my favorite books out there I refuse to ruin any surprises for unsuspecting readers.

Henry Jones

When it comes to important fathers in pop culture, who could possibly forget Dr. Henry Jones Sr., the father of adventurer Indiana Jones. As a kid, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was the first film I had seen with Sean Connery in it (that's right, it wasn't James Bond, bring on the hate mail), and I loved the interaction between him and Harrison Ford. In lots of ways their relationship reminds me of the one I share with own father. Granted, neither me nor my father are archeologists or have fought a Nazi, but it's those moments when they argue that it's difficult to believe the actors aren't really father and son—"We named the dog Indiana."

Uncle Ben

Uncle Ben wasn't Peter Parker's biological father, but he's was definitely the most important individual in Peter's life. If it weren't for this father figure, Spider-Man wouldn't say that "With great power blabbity blah blah blah" line in ever issue. It was Uncle Ben's code of ethics that pushed Peter to use his powers for the good of others and not for personal gain. The same could be said for Jonathan Kent, the adoptive parent of Superman. But Ben is ten times cooler then Pa Kent because he had his own catch phrase (and that makes him more marketable, not unimportant in this day and age!).

Homer Simpson

Who could forget the most hazardous of all television fathers, Homer Simpson? Homer has been a danger to his family and himself since he first appeared in the '80s. Homer's self-centered actions are constantly getting him into trouble. He's selfish, he's fat, and drinks a lot of beer. But this yellow, balding Dad loves his family above all else. Like most of the world, I'm eagerly awaiting the Simpson's movie this summer. I can only imagine what kind of trouble Homer's going to cause this time.

Jack Murdock

Matt Murdock wouldn't be half the hero he is now if it weren't for Battling Jack Murdock. Murdock senior was murdered defending his own honor. Jack also pushed his son to deal with his disability and made sure he studied hard and succeeded in school. He didn't want his son to have to grow up and fight. Little did he know his son should become the guardian devil of Hell’s Kitchen.

Captain Dynamo

New to the comic scene is Captain Dynamo. Dynamo first appeared in the pages of Noble Causes, but it wasn't until the series Dynamo 5 that we really learned about the Captain. Unbeknownst to the world, Captain Dynamo was a womanizer and sired children all over the place. After his death, five of those children joined forces to continue the good deeds of their deceased father. Out of his many affairs, Captain Dynamo helped to create an important group of heroes. Will the team meet up with other Image characters like Invincible of the Powers Detectives? Only time will tell.

Darth Vader

And what list of fathers would be complete without the biggest baddest Daddy in the galaxy—Darth Vader? (JP’s most definitely wouldn’t! – ed.) Luke's old man was the fearful Sith Lord that hunted down and killed all the Jedi. There are some other important fathers in Star Wars, such as Jango Fett, but none come anywhere close to the importance and badassedness of Vader. When you think about it, Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker is the main character of all six Star Wars films. He doesn't actually become a father until Episode III, but the films carefully catalogue the rise and fall of this important science fiction figure.

To be fair, there have been TONS of influential mothers in pop culture as well. Without those important female characters many characters wouldn't have been half as developed as they are. But this is a Father's Day column. Chances are your father isn't cool enough to groom you into a cool super hero or Jedi Knight, but if you're luck enough to have a father don't forget to remind him you love him whenever you get the chance.

Happy Father's Day!

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